Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31


Note: There will not be any humor in this blog entry. This one is about my life. When I started writing this blog my plan was to write about a comics life and what was goes on in it. I never planned on making each one funny. I always saw this blog as a way to give the readers a window into my world. So this blog may not be what you would normally expect, but I hope you enjoy it just the same. I'd like to thank all of you who read it.

So I was writing the blog "1983" and while I was adding up the cost of my trip and it came to $831.00. Since I was playing with numbers in that blog it caused me to think about the date August 31. It is the day that I married the mother of my children and it is the birthday of a woman that made a big difference in my life at a time when it meant the most.

The women would be Kathy and Sonya. Here is a little something about how they affected my life.

Kathy

I met Kathy in 1983. At the time we were both working at a bank in Antioch Illinois. She was in the bookkeeping department and I was a loan officer in the Installment Loan department.

Kathy was married at the time and I was a single guy keeping my options open. I was in the middle of a divorce and not really looking for anything permanent or long lasting. I thought she was nice enough but I have a strict "no cheating rule" so I never put a lot of effort into thinking about her.

One thing led to another and I really did start to like Kathy and I always thought she liked me. What I didn't know was that she was having trouble in her marriage. When she separated from her husband we started dating.

And as they say the rest is history....

I will admit I will always be grateful to Kathy. If not for her I would not be the father of 3 of the most wonderful human beings on the planet. I never wanted children until I met her. There was just something about her that changed my mind and to this day I don't know what it was. I am just happy it happened.

She also was the one that gave me the courage to tell my parents I loved them. Now I know that may sound stupid but up until I was somewhere around 30 I had never told my parents I loved them.

I was pretty close to my mom but my relationship with my dad was distant. My dad is a doctor and spent a lot of time away from the house. When he was home he had a lot to do. Also we have some pretty big cultural differences. He born in 1915 in Hungary and lived his life there until the end of World War II. Being from Hungary he didn't get TV, football, basketball, or baseball. I didn't care about soccer, reading or swimming which were the things he was interested in. Add to that a huge age difference (I was born when he was 42) and you get distance..

Now I'm not saying he didn't love me. We just didn't do much together. He always provided for his family. He always took care of us when we were sick. He didn't drink or treat us badly. He worried about us and I know he loved us. He just wasn't the kind of guy that would express it.

Kathy is from a larger family than I am and they are very good at expressing their love for each other. It felt good to be a part of that. I wanted that with my parents to.

I'll admit that it actually took some courage to tell my parents I loved them and I have no idea why. But when I finally did it felt great. Since then we've been able to freely express our feelings with each other. It's really made a difference in my relationship with my parents.

Unfortunately my relationship with Kathy did not turn out as well. We separated in 1995 and were divorced shortly thereafter.

Sonya

I met Sonya on October 17, 1995. I was working as an opener at Laffs Comedy Cafe' in Albuquerque. She was working as a waitress at the club. There is a pretty firm rule in the comedy business; "don't fuck the wait staff".

I had never violated the rule but always hung out with the wait staff, just in a friendly way. On a whim I asked Sonya out to lunch. Not because I intended to sleep with her, just because I wanted to go out to lunch with pretty girl.

Well Sonya and I hit it off and not only did I end up violating the rule, my relationship with her turned out to be one of the most important I had ever had.

When I met Sonya I was probably at the lowest point of my life. My marriage was ending and I felt I had lost everything. I considered Kathy my best friend. So in addition to losing my best friend and love of my life. I wasn't seeing my kids as much, I felt I had also lost my children. I had lost MY family.

I felt that I was unlovable and worthless. To be real honest with you I did not feel like living anymore. I came very close to taking my own life, I had even picked a date and a time. But (as you already know) I didn't go through with it. The truth is if it wasn't for my kids I would have probably done it, but I decided that I did not want them to live the rest of their lives with the stigma of a father that committed suicide.

So once I chose to live I still had to choose to recover and heal. Sonya was a big part of that. I fell in love with her and she loved me back. She nurtured my soul and made me feel lovable again. She was a confident woman and she taught me to be confident again. She let me know I was lovable.

She is also the one that got me interested in reading. She used to give me books she thought I would like to read. I enjoyed them all and have continued to read ever since. Reading also gave me the interest in writing, which has led to this blog.

Unfortunately things didn't work out with Sonya either. It was a long distance relationship and the truth is we weren't entirely compatible. We had some differences that in the long term would have become a problem.

She also had a male roommate and I knew all along that he was in love with her. I felt that she had an attraction to him as well. She was in denial about it but once I bowed out of my relationship with her they ended up engaged and married.

Even though I knew that was the way it was supposed to be when it happened it still broke my heart.

I continued to love her even after that. I compared everyone I met to her and no one made the cut. I continued to do that until the beginning of this year.

It was then that fate interceded. I found out that Sonya was separated from her husband and getting a divorce. It gave me the opportunity to contact her and that contact enabled me to clear some things up.

I felt like I finally was able to move on and enter into a relationship with someone without comparing them to her. And luckily for me I have met a very nice woman and I am now in a really great relationship.

So there you have it, 2 women, one day.

It is funny what a difference a day can make.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Leave Me Alone!


Why is it that when you people see a bigger guy running you feel the need to stop him to ask questions?

Do you think I need a break?

Do I look tired to you? Do I look like I want to talk?

Well I'm not and I don't, I just want to be left alone. Having you stop me to ask if I know where an address is, have I seen your dog, how are you today or can you introduce yourself to me is not a good thing.

I don't care, I'm busy.

I'm waiting for the day some woman stops me to ask "Do I look fat in this". I swear I'm just going to say yes.

Don't bother me while I'm running, you see running is important to me. I don't just run so I can eat 3 or 4 Snickers bars a day. I run for my emotional health.

It all started in 1994. I was about 9 months into what would end up being an 18 month process that would end up in my wife and I splitting up. I was working in Albuquerque New Mexico (my first week getting paid as a comic) with a comic named Stephen Kruiser. I remember him telling me what a stress reliever running was and thinking "I have stress!". Well that idea stuck in my head and in May of 1995 I worked with Don McMillan (most famous for being Gus the Budweiser driver) in Tucson Arizona. He had just finished filming the commercials and was running to improve his stamina. I thought, "OK, I can use that too". So those 2 events got me started. I began running in May of 1995 and have run ever since.

Running is what made the difference for me. During the divorce I was in a pretty deep depression. The bad news for me is that depression = eating. I was eating for 2 and not even pregnant! Plus eating really didn't turn out to be a great stress reliever.

I would run after I got home from court hearings and meetings with the attorney. If you'd have been close enough to hear me while I was running you'd have thought I had turrets. It was basically 5 steps and a swear word. I made the runs my time to vent. It beat being negative at other times and I figured it saved me $20 a day by NOT going to Subway to feed my face in a effort to calm down.

By the time I made it through the divorce, I was hooked. On the Snickers and the running. I run 3 days on and 1 day off. I have to tell you that when I skip a day I actually feel guilty. I feel like I've let myself down. It doesn't stop me from having the Snickers bars, but I do feel bad.

By the year 2000 I decided to run my first marathon. For those that don't know a marathon is 26.2 miles. They have training programs to prepare you and they run 16 weeks. So I picked a training schedule, stuck with it (as best I could) and on September 2, 2000 I ran the American Discover Marathon Trail in Colorado Springs Colorado from start to finish. Beyond being a father it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

Of course I celebrated by eating an entire 16" pizza by myself while washing it down with a large Chocolate Malt and (2) 32 ounce Mountain Dews.

After running 26.2 miles I was stiff! I was walking like I was 80 years old. And did I mention I am lactose intolerant? That made for a pretty interesting night. Here I was barely able to walk and my colon was screaming in agony from the Malt and all the cheese. I then understood the need for "Depends" in our society.

Since then I have run 4 more Marathons. The last one in Phoenix in January. I've learned, instead of pizza and Malts it's Mexican food and Margaritas. My colon still screams but the Margaritas help with my attitude about it.

So if you happen to see me out there running (which I doubt) don't stop and say hi.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Riding in the Rain


And there was a LOT of rain. We also had a little hail.

But it was totally worth it.

I spent most of Saturday in Cripple Creek Colorado at the 19th annual POW/MIA recognition ride.

First I have to say that I have a great admiration for anyone in the service. In 1975 I missed the draft by 30 days and was very happy at the time. I was no where near mature enough to be in the military and if I had ever been sent to combat I would have probably gotten myself and several other people killed. So the government really dodged a bullet when I wasn't drafted.

The truth is I still haven't matured enough to enlist. Fortunately for me I can use my age as an excuse now.

I have no idea what the actual percentage is but it seems to me that most bikers over the age of 45 are ex-military. So there was a lot of pride (and rightfully so) displayed in Cripple Creek on Saturday.

I rode up with my biker friends Freedom and his wife Sally. They are definitely loaners when it comes to the bike thing. They don't ride with just anyone, I suppose they've just taken pity on me and allow me to tag along with them. This is an event that they have been going to since the beginning, this is my 4th year.

We left very early in the morning to get up to Cripple Creek in time to get some good parking. It's about an hour ride and at 7:00am going up the mountain it was cold. There's nothing like a wind chill around 5 degrees in August to wake you up. I can tell you it's more effective than caffeine any day!

And thank God for that cold weather! It meant that people had to actually dress warmly to be hanging out up there. That meant (mercifully) that none of the nasty women could put themselves on display. There is nothing that causes me to lose my interest in people watching faster than seeing 3 overweight women in row wearing tight clothing the should have the label "Omar the Tent Maker" on the tag.

That doesn't mean I didn't see weird looking people.....

I saw a guy that had skin that was actually gray. He looked like someone had shrunk his skin onto his face because you could see every bone in his skull. I've never seen anything like it. If he was in Africa they would have just cut his head off and left it at that!

The there was the midget that was out with the doo rag, leather coat and all the patches. There was no way that guy was a biker. He couldn't even reach the peddles!

Then there was the 60+ year old severely overweight woman wearing a halter top with her breasts exposed at the (yikes) bottom. Now I know I said it was cold but this women had a layer of fat a seal would have been jealous of. That's why she was able to wear that ridiculous looking halter top.

And that was just in the first 30 minutes.

For the first time we went to the opening ceremony. It was like being at a Catholic mass, without the kneeling. Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, geez; can someone make a decision!

It was really quite interesting and they did honor some POWs that had been invited for the weekend. There was on guy that was a World War II veteran. He actually survived the 1945 Black Hunger Death March. Here's a brief description I found on the net from another survivor:

By early 1945, the war was going badly for the Germans, and the Russian army began approaching from the east, so the Germans decided to move the POWs farther west. On February 5, 1945, we started on our BLACK HUNGER DEATH MARCH. This march numbered about 6000 men.

During the day, the prisoners marched four or five abreast. At night, we were herded into nearby barns with any luck. Often, the farmers would not let us into the barns, as they thought we would contaminate the animals with our lice and fleas and dysentery. We often slept on the ground. I remember that, at one place we stopped for the night, the ground was so covered with the feces of the group who had passed before us that we tried sleeping standing up against a tree.

We walked from morning till night every day. This was through one of Germany's worst winters.

We were wet most of the time either from snow or sleet or cold sweat. We got frostbite. We only had GI shoes, overcoat, cap, and winter underwear. Also we had two blankets. Four of us stuck together for protection and to share whatever food we could find. We slept together to try to keep warm.


What they don't tell you is that this was an 80 mile march over 80 days. As far as I'm concerned that guy had a bigger pair (if there was anything left of them) than any man I've ever seen.

There was also a POW from Korea that actually looked like Abe Lincoln. They actually called him Abe; absolutely amazing.

So after the ceremony it was time for a quick lunch. Then when it started warming up and the clothes started coming off, it was time to ride home. We rode through a pretty hard rainstorm and as I said in the beginning; we even got some hail.

And the best part?

Not one person waived.....

20 Things - The Remix


Bulletins, bulletins, bulletins........

Here's another that asks useless questions. So it seems only fair that I give useless answers.

So for your enjoyment, welcome to "20 Things" the remix.

My answers are in blue.

I want to know 20 things about you. I don't care if we've never talked, never liked each other, or if we already know everything about each other. I really don't. You are obviously on my list, so let me know who I'm friends with! SEND TO MY INBOX.

1.Your Full Name:

Are you kidding? This is MySpace! I'm supposed to stay anonymous!

2. Age:

Whatever it says on my profile. I need to continue to live the lie.

3. Single or taken:

I'm single, I tried the "taken" thing but there always seem to be a witness and the police ALWAYS show up.

4. Favorite Movie:

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. There's just something about a horrific movie that appeals to me. And "Little Women" because I can relate.

5. Favorite Song:

"We are the World", it makes me feel all "gushy" inside.

HERE COMES THE FUN ... ... ...

Ain't that the truth.....

1. Do we know each other outside of MySpace?

I sure hope not.

2. What's your philosophy on life?

Up yours!

3. Would you have my back in a fight?

Yes, that's usually how I start. An attack from behind.

4. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?

I don't know. How much are they going to pay me?

5. What is your favorite memory of us?

The time we robbed that bank and beat up and tortured the men. Then we had our way with all the women.

6. Would you give me a kidney?

Only if it came out of my grocers meat counter.

7. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:

One side of my penis is longer than the other.

8. Would you take care of me when I'm sick?

I'm already "sick" of you! Of course not.

9. Can we get together and make a cake?

If you are a hot looking women, I'm single and that's what you kids call fucking these days.....

10. Have you heard any rumors of me lately?

I heard you stick a carrot up you butt and fart to fire it out. It heard you can hit the bulls-eye at 50 feet 9 out of 10 times.

11. Do you/have you talk(ed) crap about me?

Every chance I get. I hate you.

12. Do you think I'm a good person?

Only if you think I am.

13. Would you drive across country with me?

Only if you are a HOT woman that wants to blow me. And you have to pay all the expenses.

14. Do you think I'm attractive?

I've always thought that everyone was attractive in some way. Then you came along and proved me wrong.

15. If you could change anything about me, would you?

I'd ask you to quit sending these bulletins.

16. What do you wear to sleep?

Tonight I'm gong to wear my fairy costume. Last night I wore my clown suit.

17. Would you come over for no reason just to hang out?

So you don't know I'm the one that took the $50 out of you wallet last time.

18. Would you go on a date with me if i asked you?

How many time do I have to say this? Only if you are a HOT women that wants to blow me. Otherwise I have no time for you.

19. If we only had one day to live, what would we do together?

I'm going to get blind drunk and shoot up some heroin. Then I'm going screw as many STD infected hookers as I can.

20. Will you post this so I can fill it out for you?

After all that I wrote about you? I don't think so.....

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sturgis 2009


That is the year I will FINALLY be able to go to Sturgis.

I have always seen the Sturgis rally as a pilgrimage. Like the "Hajj" when the Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca. They say that every Muslim that is physically and financially able to do so must participate in this pilgrimage.

I believe it should be the same for bikers when it comes to Sturgis. And when I say biker, I mean REAL biker. Not some of these weekend warriors, but more about that later.

I've attempted a pilgrimage to Sturgis twice in my life. Once in 1978 and again in 1980. I didn't make it either time. You see I did it the right way, I actually rode my bike there, or at least I tried to. Back then I lived in Illinois and both times I broke down on the way out. In 1978 I was in Kansas and in 1980 I was in Minnesota. I could have hitched a ride in both times but I had too much self respect to go into Sturgis on anything other than my own bike.

That's because your bike is supposed to be an extension of who you are, not who you want to be. Riding someone else's bike is like making love to someone else woman. First of all, you got no business doing it unless they gave you permission and even then it may be exciting but it just never feels right.

Author note: I have never slept with anyone else's woman (unless they didn't tell me), so I can only guess about it.

Back to my point.....

I'm a long time biker, I started riding in 1973. Maybe I am living in the past but when you get a bike you are supposed to make it your own. I know a lot of guys that grumble when they see some gal riding a Harley that is painted pink and set up to be all girly. It's not for me but in my never to be humble opinion she just as much a biker as any guy I know. She made her bike into what she wanted it to be. That's to entire point of owning one. So if she had the balls (so to speak) to paint it hot Pink let her. She can resell it to some gay man in San Francisco when she's finished with it. I don't care.

What bugs me are all the new bikers these days wearing their "costumes". They get a Harley and all the sudden they have a weekend wardrobe. Leathers, boots, Harley shirts, hats, glasses, doo rags and even underwear. They go to their local Harley dealership and spend thousands of dollars to get the Harley "look". It's something they will never achieve because there is no "look". You are supposed to be you on a bike, not a caricature of what you think you are supposed to be.

I was riding yesterday between Canon City and Florence and happened to ride past this guy on an older FLH. He was wearing a pair of overalls with tennis shoes on. The way he was carrying himself I thought "Now there's a real biker".

And you know what, he didn't wave at me. I couldn't have been happier.

As I have said before, I hate the wave. Why is it that when you people get a Harley you feel you have to wave at every other person you see riding one? We are not in the same "club". You are making this look like a gay pride parade.

I'm telling you I start swearing under my breath every time someone waves at me.

When you are in your car do do you ride around waving at everyone that drives the make? Of course you don't. You are self absorbed and anti-social. That is the way it is supposed to be. Nobody cares that you are driving around in your Honda.

Just like nobody cares that you are riding around on your Harley.

And it's not even supposed to be a wave. It's supposed to be your arm held out at 8 o'clock with your hand made into a fist. It's from a old warriors tradition and started as a way of showing respect for the others you saw out riding. But that went away 20 years ago.

It was tough back then, no one wanted you in their place. Now there are signs that say "bikers welcome".

My new friend JD was telling me about a time when he had ridden all day and it was late in evening. He was tired and and looking for a place to sleep. He saw a motel on the road with a vacancy sign lit . He pulled in and as soon as he stopped his engine the NO light came on. They didn't want him back then because they thought bikers were trouble. Now they would be outside waving him in because they are pretty sure he has an American Express and 5 or 6 Visa cards.

What got me started on this whole thing was my trip to pick up my son last weekend.

I was coming back from Canada and saw a lot of people headed towards Sturgis. Let me tell you what I saw.....

Too many Harleys on a trailer.

The whole point of Sturgis is riding. Not only riding while you are at Sturgis but getting their should be part of it as well. Quit being a pussy. Pack your shit on your bike and ride your ass to Sturgis. The only time a bike should be on a trailer or in the back of a pickup truck is if it cannot be ridden.

Some guy on a bike with temporary plates, blonde highlights and a trophy girlfriend.

This guy is lucky there will be a lot of people at Sturgis, maybe no one will notice him. Blonde highlights? If he does get noticed he will be taken aside, beaten, his bike parted out and his woman would intimately know an entire gang of bikers.

Nasty women.

What is it about being on the back of a bike that leads women to believe they can wear revealing clothes? Especially when they shouldn't be revealing anything. Here's a little tip for you girls. If the crack of your ass is hanging over both sides of the seat you should not be wearing anything tight enough to show any of your body.

Good grief......

So 2009 is my year. I can't before then because Sturgis week is always a week with my kids. There is NO WAY I will take my girls to Sturgis. They would attract way too much attention and not the good kind.

I just hope by the time I get there you people have learned something.

I don't want to have an aneurysm.....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

1983


That is the number of miles I traveled in my car Thursday and Friday.

If you divide it by 60 ( the minutes in an hour) it comes to the number of hours (33) that I spent in the car.

Multiply it by 10 cents per mile and it becomes 198.30, the amount I spent on gas to get back and forth.

Multiply it by .01 (a penny) and then by 3 (the number of us traveling) and you get 59.49, the amount spent on our room for the night.

Multiplying it by a penny also gets what seems to be the average cost for 3 people eating fast food on the road.

1983 also was the year that I met the mother of my children, which is what got me into all this.

So here's the story.....

On Thursday I drove to the International Peace Gardens which is 15 miles north of Dunseith North Dakota to pick up The Ponderer. He has been working at the International Band Camp since the beginning of June.

He has been going to the camp every summer as a student since he was 9. This is the first year he has gone as an employee. He spent the last 2 months working in the kitchen. His sisters have been calling him the "Lunch Lady".

Of course leaving town is never easy for me. Usually it is business related matters that get me a late start. This time I got out on time but I took a pretty good hit in the wallet to do so. I had to pay out the nose to get new springs and struts installed on the rear of my trusty Honda Civic. You'd think I could get more than 430,000 miles out of them. They just don't make cars the way they used to.

Why new springs and struts? Because there was going to be a lot of us in my little car, I was taking the girls with me. They were anxious to see their brother, they really missed him.

So off we went Thursday morning. Miss Sensitivity, The Keeper and I with a minimum amount of luggage because my son had everything he took to camp with him and we had to make sure we had the room for it.

Actually we shouldn't even have had luggage, but getting teenage girls to travel anywhere without several changes of clothes is just not going to happen. The best I was able to do was convince them to bring 2 days worth of clothing and minimal makeup supplies. Why they needed makeup is beyond me. I didn't think they were going to meet anyone inside my car or at one of the 10 minute gas stops we were going to make.

The reality is my kids are all great traveling companions. They've gone on lot's of road trips with me. All they do is sleep, read or listen to their MP3 player. They spend no time interacting with me, they don't ask for any additional stops and I never hear "are we there yet".

The truth is it is just like traveling by myself, very lonely.

So there is nothing interesting to tell about the drive from Denver to Bottineau North Dakota. We stayed in a Super 8 there because it was inexpensive and had high speed Internet.

The kids love motel living and always have. There seems to be something about small bars of soap and small bottles of shampoo that really excites them.

They are also always impressed by the free food given out in the morning at the "breakfast buffet". They really hit the jackpot this time because this Super 8 has a waffle maker! They gleefully made waffles for themselves on Friday morning and sampled all the juices the motel had to offer.

They were very happy.....

On Friday morning from Bottineau it was just a 30 minute drive to pick up my son. I had talked with him on the way up and told him to be ready at 8:00AM and he was standing outside waiting. He had no idea I was bringing the girls and was very surprised when they almost knocked him over while hugging him.

He had his things ready and we stuck them in the car. By the time we got everything in the entire back of the car was filled up. You could not even see out of the back window.

Of course The Ponderer had his food with him. It consisted of an entire Pepperoni pizza stacked in slices wrapped in tin foil; 2 very large bags of ripple potato chips; and a box of 30 Peanut Butter Toll House cookies. The only thing missing was a 6 pack of Mountain Dew, I'm sure he drank that the night before.

The trip back was uneventful. It's the weekend before Sturgis and there were a lot of bikers headed that way. In 4 hours I counted 346 Harleys, the lucky bastards. There will be more about that soon.

So we got in about 10:30 on Friday night and were really tired. I did have time to start this blog and do the math. It cost me $198.30 for gas; $118.98 for food; $454.23 for car repairs; and $59.49 for lodging. The total cost of this trip......

$831

When I saw 831 I immediately thought of August 31, that is the day I married my kids mom. It is also the birthday of Sonya, someone that made a real difference in my life.

On the way back I asked The Ponderer how much money he had left. He told me he had un-cashed paychecks totaling more than $1,000. I asked him if he was going to work at the camp next year and he said yes.

I see a bus in his future.....

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Connie the Cantankerous


Definition: Cantankerous
  • bloody-minded: stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
  • having a difficult and contrary disposition
Being the booker of a club can be good and bad.....

Meeting Connie was definitely one of the bad things.

Now I'm going to tell you that I normally do not speak to comics that are interested in working at Wits End on the phone. It's not that I am being anti-social (which would be true in most cases), it is because there would not be enough time in a day to talk to them all.

Comics are the telemarketers of the comedy world, but unlike regular telemarketers they are much more persistent. And I don't blame them, I'm a comic too and making calls is what you have to do to get work. You see there is a glut of sorts in the comedy world. There are more comedians than work available. Add to that all the people that think they are funny and the number is huge. So how do I book comics you ask?

That great and wonderful place called the Internet. I have a special web site that I use. That along with email is all I need. I actually speak to very few comics on the phone and I like it that way.

My motto is the same as every other bookers on the planet. Don't call me, I'll call you (if I feel like it). The only difference between me and many of the other bookers is that at least I am up front and honest about it.

Now I have never seen Connie the Cantankerous do comedy but I am going to tell you I'm pretty sure she is in the "I think I'm funny group". And by the time I finish this blog I believe you will feel the same way.

So as I said, normally I would not take a call from a comic wanting to work at Wits End. There would be 3 reasons for that; the first being that comics do not have my number (I am almost never at the club); the 2nd being if I took every call I wouldn't have time to do anything else and finally as I explained before, I do all that on the Internet.

But this woman was given my personal and private number by my old friend and comedy mentor Brad Hartman. So I figured if Brad felt I should talk to her there must be good reason.

This is how the call went.....

(Lot's of paraphrasing going on in this dialog)

Me: This is Vilmos, can I help you?

CC: My name is Connie and I was given your name by Brad Hartman. He thought that you would be able to help me get an opening week at Wits End.

Me: Well Connie I would like to help but I only book the Feature and Headline acts. All of the openers for the club are booked by the manager Don Walters.

I'm thinking: I'm going to get a little information on her experience. That way I can give Don a heads up after I get off the phone with her.

Me: So Connie where have you worked?

CC: Well I've never worked at a club before, but I have done guest sets and killed.

I'm thinking: Well she probably doesn't have the experience to work at the club. So now would be a good time to suggest she get a guest set at our place to audition for work. I'm doubting she has the "chops". Someone that "kills" every time they are on stage almost never mentions it. Plus if she was killing doing guest sets she would at least be working as an opener/MC. Club managers and bookers do not ignore women comics that kill. Women comics (in general) are in short supply and high demand.

Me: It would be a good idea for you to get a guest set at the club and let Don see you perform. That would help you get a week.

CC: I don't think I should have to do that. After all, I've been doing comedy since 1995 and I kill every time I'm on stage. I'm always better than the Feature acts that follow me. The reason I'm not being booked is because I'm a tall and aggressive woman. I'm 6'3" and that intimidates men. That's why they never book me.

I'm thinking: If you were that good you would be working for sure. I'm guessing that you have an inflated view of how well you do on stage. That's why you are not working. Plus I can already tell you are a pain in the ass. Gee, that makes you a VERY desirable comic to work with.

Me: So you are saying that you should actually be Featuring?

CC: Absolutely, like I told you before, men are intimidated by me. I consistently kill and am better than Feature acts that are working. I am not getting booked because I am a tall woman.....

Me: Well Connie with all due respect.....

I'm thinking: OK the disclaimer is out there.

Me: ...... there is a definite progression in comedy and everyone does it the same way. You start as an open micer for a couple years. Then work as an opener for a few years. Then if you are doing well enough you start to Feature at one-nighters and some clubs. That's the way it works for everyone.

CC: But I've been doing comedy for 15 years and I don't need to be opening. I should be Featuring.

I'm thinking: OK, this girl is clueless. Maybe I can straighten her out so she doesn't make a fool of herself.

Me: But I don't think you understand. No one goes straight from open mic to Feature. It just doesn't happen. I know over 500 comics and not one of them has skipped a step. Everyone has done it the same way; open mic-opener-feature. There is no other way.

Note: What follows is a 10 minutes exchange. I explaining the way things work in the comedy business. She telling me I am not listening to her and that I am ignoring her reality. The entire time she is letting me know I have no idea what I'm talking about.

and the conversation continues.....



CC: I thought they were going to offer me a week at the Colorado Springs club but I can't work the Friday and Saturday shows. I have a regular gig. I'm a musician and those shows pay my bills. I can't take that time off.

Me: Well no one is going to hire you if you cannot work the weekend shows. There would be no point in hiring you and then having to find someone to work those shows.

CC: But you are not listening, I need that money. That's why I have to play music.

Me: Yes I heard you but sacrifice is a part of the business. It is a part of making it. No one makes money as an opener. We can't go to college to learn this. This is how we "pay" for our education.

CC: Well I am just not willing to do that.

Me: Well then comedy is not for you.

CC: But that is where my heart is telling me to go.....

Me: Well maybe you heart is wrong. If your heart told you to start blowing men in public would you feel the need to do that too?

CC: You are just like the rest of them. You are intimidated by me because I am a tall and strong woman.

Me: How can I be intimidated by your height. I've never seen you before and I'm talking to you on the phone. You could be a midget for all I know.

Note: Begin another 5 minutes of her talking over everything I say.

Me: (While she continues to speak): It is apparent to me that you are not willing to learn how the business works and you don't want to hear what I have to say. Good luck, I'm done trying to talk to you about this.

Click.....

The moral of the story is if you want to work anywhere you need to go find out what the company wants and work within their framework. Being belligerent and contrary will not get you anywhere.

She called back 5 minutes later (probably because she continued talking until the phone started making funny noises) and left a message for me. Her message was.....

"It was rude for you to hang up on me and it was not a pleasure talking to you."


Funny thing, I felt the same way, but there is a small difference. I will be headlining a club next week and still will be booking on of the finest clubs in the country.

She on the other hand will be playing music at a pizza parlor in Colorado Springs Friday and Saturday.

Now who is it that knows what they are talking about?